March 16, 2013

After School

After school we headed out to lunch. We picked up Bill & Owen and Ruth & Steve (the current administrators of Hope) and Vicki & Vince (next year's administrators) and I all headed to the local Indian restaurant (El Rancho) for lunch. It was part interview, part meeting and it was a lot of fun. We talked about the details of what it would look like for me to teach at Hope. They're currently hiring a teacher for grades 6/7/8 (combined classroom, though currently they don't have any 8th graders enrolled, so it may end up being only 6/7), also a preschool teacher and possibly a 1st grade teacher if their numbers get high enough to be able to split K/1 up to two classes. When Hope “hires” a teacher, airfare is paid for (round trip) the visa is paid for and typically living expenses are covered. Right now all the teachers are single so they all live in a big house roommate style and are given a monthly stipend for food. Since we'd be the first family hired into Hope they needed to do some number crunching to figure out what kind of stipend we'd receive. Teaching at Hope isn't really a 'job' in the conventional sense – it's a volunteer position. Teachers aren't paid. Hope is an international school which means there are students from all over the globe that attend- US kids, Indian kids, Tanzanian kids, etc. The school is taught in English, and each classroom has a Tanzanian assistant for the local kids that come in only speaking Swahili. There are also Swahili classes in the afternoon for all the kids to learn the local language (there's one offered for teachers once a week too!)
Anyway, I told them out of all the positions available I'd be most interested in the 6/7/8 position. I know. Those of you that know me (and taught with me) are probably jaw-to-the-floor right now. But it's different here. First of all (those of you that know me also know this) I do not have any desire to do preschool. First grade might be okay – but if given the choice I'd rather teach older kids. I much prefer being able to do projects and fun stuff like that, rather than tying shoes and wiping noses :) And the middle-schoolers here are still middle-schoolers, but there wouldn't be 30 of them in my classroom, there'd be less than a dozen, maybe only a handful, so it's an entirely different dynamic. Anyway, there is also a photography class offered right now that will not have a teacher once Ruth & Steve leave for the States, so I could teach that class as well. I would also continue taking school pictures, and they were really hoping to get a teacher to head up a yearbook group so the school could publish one of those next year (I was on yearbook staff in high school).
So it seems as though God is up to something in all this. (Surprise, surprise) The way things seem to line up is kind of uncanny. I asked if they needed to know by a certain time our intentions of coming back for the fall and it pretty much is 'the sooner the better'. They're actively seeking teachers to fill the positions so in order to get the grades I want, I have to be the first to commit to it.
So we've committed right now, to praying. Lots of praying. Seeking God to see if this is what he wants for us. It's hard right now for us to make sure this is God and not just a 'want' on our end. So we've committed to pray, and seek, and listen. And see what God has to say.